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Author Topic: HELP! Transactions not confirming ;( - 4 btc bounty  (Read 10799 times)
Stephen Gornick
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June 06, 2012, 08:41:53 PM
 #61

There were some very good points made in this thread and just so that they aren't overlooked I'm putting in a recap / summary:

Keep a copy of your current wallet before doing this, of course.

Yes, step 1 of any offers given to help someone in a scenario like this should include:

Before you try reverting to an old wallet, or performing pywallet surgery on your wallet, make sure that you make a backup (or two) of your current wallet.

In this instance, Jeremy made over 100 transactions.  Had he reverted to an old wallet, and wasn't using a large keypool already, there is the possibility that he would have given out Bitcoin address and received payments to them where these addresses didn't exist yet when the most recent backup was made.  

Hopefully everyone actively using Bitcoin at these levels is well aware of the keypool and has adjusted the keypools size to be large enough so that the backup and recovery strategy will make it so there is not ever result in lost bitcoins because of not having backups that include new keys.

Here's notme's mention of that:

I think the default keypool is only 100.  If you're doing this many transactions you should set the keypool size to 1500 or some other high number so your backups are at least valid for a few days.

The Bitcoin.org client isn't clogged up to accommodate every use case out there, so merchants should know that the -keypool=<n> configuration setting and a good backup strategy require proper attention to prevent the situation where there are lost bitcoins.  If your backup strategy is to take a nightly snapshot (shut down the client & copy the wallet.dat) and retain that backup copy for each night over the past 7 days, then you probably want a key pool of multiple days worth of transactions (or, more specifically large enough for multiple days worth of addresses that are consumed from the keypool).  As notme suggests, 15X daily usage is not rediculous (they're really cheap so why not!).

To the devs: isn't this a bug in the Satoshi client? Shouldn't the client try to rebroadcast unconfirmed transactions once in a while? If it does rebroadcast, just not fast enough for Jeremy's needs, then isn't this an enhancement issue that should be logged anyway?

The client will rebroadcast within in a half hour.  The normal use case is for this to not occur on startup as that lessens the transaction anonymity.  The ability to force a rebroadcast was discussed but the conclusion was that the range of zero to 30 minutes was sufficient so the ticket was closed:
 - https://github.com/bitcoin/bitcoin/pull/421

So after the cosmetic problem where there are 0/unconfirmed transactions is resolved for Jeremy it would be useful to try to understand what might have caused this to occur in the first palce.  There is an attack in which this exact situation could be the result (the vector76 attack or "one confirmation attack") but that probably isn't what happened here.  Further information on this attack here:
 - https://github.com/bitcoin/bitcoin/issues/1428

Ending up in this situation where you have these 0/unconfirmed spend transactions that will never confirm isn't something that is easy to do unless either you are doing something wrong (e.g., either purposely trying to double spend, or accidentally double spent by using the same wallet on multiple nodes and unwittingly created a double spend in the process) or you happened to not only be the target of a double spend but you happened to also use funds from that double spend for a spend transaction yourself.

Any guess as to what might have happened here?

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Jeremy West spendbitcoins.com
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June 08, 2012, 01:44:30 AM
 #62

Thanks again for all the help you've all given so far. One of you has sent me a private message offering to walk me through this over skype (he/she hasn't given me authority to say who, so although I'm sure they wouldn't mind, I'll keep it private since they sent me a PM) and I'm going to take you up on that as soon as we can connect.

Just thought I'd update where I'm at with all of this right now:

--I sent the customers their bitcoins again yesterday. This is my problem not theirs, and it sounds like these won't rebroadcast and I'll be able to retrieve them anyway.
--I had another transaction hang like this late yesterday, so I've just set up a new wallet and transferred my coins there in 100 btc lots (so if any more get caught it won't affect the whole amount).

Phew, this has been a week of putting out fires. And it's supposed to be my study week for finals. I haven't cracked a book once! Sad

Oh well, the life of a bitcoin entrepreneur. Crazy roller coaster, but worth every minute. Smiley

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June 08, 2012, 02:14:01 AM
 #63

Phew, this has been a week of putting out fires. And it's supposed to be my study week for finals. I haven't cracked a book once! Sad

Oh well, the life of a bitcoin entrepreneur. Crazy roller coaster, but worth every minute. Smiley

Haha, sounds just like me, except I study for finals the class before Wink

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Jeremy West spendbitcoins.com
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June 08, 2012, 02:20:27 AM
 #64

Haha, sounds just like me, except I study for finals the class before Wink

I've been studying all semester, but Australia gives an extra week for studying between the last week of classes and the final exams.

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June 09, 2012, 11:32:44 AM
 #65

Hi,
I sent some bitcoins to Jeremy, the amount was deducted from my wallet, but the second day I noticed the transaction is still sitting unconfirmed. Today I checked it again and it finally passed (after two days).
Can this be related to the issue Jeremy had?
Stephen Gornick
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June 10, 2012, 01:36:46 AM
 #66

I sent some bitcoins to Jeremy, the amount was deducted from my wallet, but the second day I noticed the transaction is still sitting unconfirmed. Today I checked it again and it finally passed (after two days).
Can this be related to the issue Jeremy had?

Unlikely.  If the payment doesn't make it into a block, then SpendBitcoins probably wouldn't have been able to use it in a payment, at least not with the stock Bitcoin.org client.

Jeremy West spendbitcoins.com
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June 10, 2012, 03:48:41 AM
 #67

I sent some bitcoins to Jeremy, the amount was deducted from my wallet, but the second day I noticed the transaction is still sitting unconfirmed. Today I checked it again and it finally passed (after two days).
Can this be related to the issue Jeremy had?

Unlikely.  If the payment doesn't make it into a block, then SpendBitcoins probably wouldn't have been able to use it in a payment, at least not with the stock Bitcoin.org client.

I think he's asking if he had the same issue as me, but it doesn't sound like it because mine never broadcast while his eventually did.

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June 11, 2012, 07:13:21 AM
 #68

I have the exact same problem, a very werid thing, tx's going through and others not all within a short time frame, it began with opening my wallet and finding more coins than I had before, dono if that triggers anything in someones brain but i reloaded the whole blockchain like you said your going to do, i didnt help, i havn't tried this rescan though, not sure how they are different but ill check it out, hope this helps a little at least
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June 12, 2012, 07:44:16 PM
 #69

Thanks again for all the help you've all given so far. One of you has sent me a private message offering to walk me through this over skype (he/she hasn't given me authority to say who, so although I'm sure they wouldn't mind, I'll keep it private since they sent me a PM) and I'm going to take you up on that as soon as we can connect.

That would be me.

I never heard from you on Skype.  I don't know if you tried to contact me.

Did you ever get the issue resolved?  I had forgotten about this thread until trying to answer a similar issue for a SatoshiDICE player here: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=77870.msg958137#msg958137

I think he has the same problem as you, except that his bad transactions are incoming, not outgoing.  Either way, deleting them using PyWallet should fix the problem.

Edit: I'll subscribe to this thread this time so I won't miss your reply again.

Jeremy West spendbitcoins.com
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June 12, 2012, 08:55:51 PM
 #70

Thanks again for all the help you've all given so far. One of you has sent me a private message offering to walk me through this over skype (he/she hasn't given me authority to say who, so although I'm sure they wouldn't mind, I'll keep it private since they sent me a PM) and I'm going to take you up on that as soon as we can connect.

That would be me.

I never heard from you on Skype.  I don't know if you tried to contact me.

Did you ever get the issue resolved?  I had forgotten about this thread until trying to answer a similar issue for a SatoshiDICE player here: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=77870.msg958137#msg958137

I think he has the same problem as you, except that his bad transactions are incoming, not outgoing.  Either way, deleting them using PyWallet should fix the problem.

Edit: I'll subscribe to this thread this time so I won't miss your reply again.

Hi Dooglus. I'll definitely be contacting you on skype. I haven't tried yet because I haven't had a moment to. Sad

someone703
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June 19, 2012, 08:20:17 PM
 #71

Sorry to bump an old thread, but just figured I'd mention that I ran into the same issue and give the details in case someone who works in-depth with bitcoin has more information to work with.

Anyhow, sent a small transaction that had the status of "0/unconfirmed" followed by something about being broadcasted out through 12 nodes or something like that.  Later went to just "0/unconfirmed" though.

Quote
Status: 0/unconfirmed
Date: 6/18/2012 18:33
To: 1LTnpXQHYCT5V7132AuGSW6jvnD2dSfMXk
Debit: -4.23958261 BTC
Net amount: -4.23958261 BTC
Transaction ID: 9cf62b043a484baa76d98932d7307882bbbe9ff47ab45bbd33c79ec7887a8d33

It deducted the coins but never showed up in the blockchain.  Someone checked the bitcoincharts for me as well for a low priority transaction that was queued but came up with nothing.

Used pywallet to delete all the keys and rescanned (returned ~2.9BTC) as well as trying to delete the specific transactions that were unconfirmed and rescanning (put me at a balance of 0BTC).  *Note: There was 1 other unconfirmed transaction besides the one quoted above.

I did have an issue about a month ago where I got a message about a double-spend when my bitcoin wallet crashed as I went to send payment for something.  The double-spend message later disappeared from the blockchain as well.  However, that transaction was for 4.0BTC so I'm not sure why fixing my wallet gave me ~2.9BTC

I've had 90 successful transactions and 2 bad ones within the past 30 day period.

Sold To: aggrojosh, FreeMoney (x2), challengeaccepted, the joint, TECHSHARE, BurntSnow, yrral, serp, waterskeer, jduck1987, grue (x2)

Bought From: bcjunkie, newdude, Zakcy, frank90, Chinaski, Cookie_Monster, DandoRealIta, Globes (x2), recursive

Leant To: kais3r (ended up being a scammer), jjzm
Jeremy West spendbitcoins.com
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June 19, 2012, 10:00:14 PM
 #72

Sorry to bump an old thread, but just figured I'd mention that I ran into the same issue and give the details in case someone who works in-depth with bitcoin has more information to work with.

Anyhow, sent a small transaction that had the status of "0/unconfirmed" followed by something about being broadcasted out through 12 nodes or something like that.  Later went to just "0/unconfirmed" though.

Quote
Status: 0/unconfirmed
Date: 6/18/2012 18:33
To: 1LTnpXQHYCT5V7132AuGSW6jvnD2dSfMXk
Debit: -4.23958261 BTC
Net amount: -4.23958261 BTC
Transaction ID: 9cf62b043a484baa76d98932d7307882bbbe9ff47ab45bbd33c79ec7887a8d33

It deducted the coins but never showed up in the blockchain.  Someone checked the bitcoincharts for me as well for a low priority transaction that was queued but came up with nothing.

Used pywallet to delete all the keys and rescanned (returned ~2.9BTC) as well as trying to delete the specific transactions that were unconfirmed and rescanning (put me at a balance of 0BTC).  *Note: There was 1 other unconfirmed transaction besides the one quoted above.

I did have an issue about a month ago where I got a message about a double-spend when my bitcoin wallet crashed as I went to send payment for something.  The double-spend message later disappeared from the blockchain as well.  However, that transaction was for 4.0BTC so I'm not sure why fixing my wallet gave me ~2.9BTC

I've had 90 successful transactions and 2 bad ones within the past 30 day period.

Grrr... I haven't had a chance to do this yet. I was hoping doing this would give me all my bitcoins back. Sad

someone703
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June 19, 2012, 10:36:55 PM
 #73

Yea, I hear you, my 4BTC is peanuts compared to yours.  Undecided

But you did mention having backups so hopefully you'll get it resolved.  I never backed mine up although I'm starting to realize that moving forward I should definitely back up my wallet weekly or be super paranoid and back it up a couple times a week even though I do an extremely low volume of transactions.

Sold To: aggrojosh, FreeMoney (x2), challengeaccepted, the joint, TECHSHARE, BurntSnow, yrral, serp, waterskeer, jduck1987, grue (x2)

Bought From: bcjunkie, newdude, Zakcy, frank90, Chinaski, Cookie_Monster, DandoRealIta, Globes (x2), recursive

Leant To: kais3r (ended up being a scammer), jjzm
dooglus
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June 19, 2012, 11:25:02 PM
 #74

Yea, I hear you, my 4BTC is peanuts compared to yours.  Undecided

But you did mention having backups so hopefully you'll get it resolved.  I never backed mine up although I'm starting to realize that moving forward I should definitely back up my wallet weekly or be super paranoid and back it up a couple times a week even though I do an extremely low volume of transactions.

Or, run 'bitcoin-qt -keypool=9999', wait for it to generate 9999 pool addresses, then back up the wallet, and you don't need to make another backup until you've used those 9999 addresses.  "Using" an address happens each time you make a transaction which generates change back to yourself, and each time you click 'new address' in the 'receive coins' tab.  Some RPC calls will also use a pool address, but if you don't use RPC you don't need to worry about that.  9999 can be any sufficiently large number, of course.  By default it's only 100, meaning you need to back up at least every 100 spends you make.

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